An New Mexico Army National Guard Sargent is charged with shooting at an Albuquerque driver he says was driving recklessly and it's a charge he's all too familiar with.The gun-rights folks often pretend to not understand what we mean by "hidden criminal." It's not that difficult a concept really. Among the huge body of people called gun owners there is a certain percentage that is unfit to own guns even though they do so legally. Some of these are actually criminals who simply have not picked up the required convictions to lose their gun rights. These are "hidden criminals."
Three years ago Richard Baca, 24, was charged in a similar case where someone died.
Albuquerque police say just before three o’clock Saturday morning they got a call of a man shooting at a car.
He claims the car's driver was speeding in the area, taking out a stop sign and almost crashing through a crowd of people.
That is when Baca says he drew his gun and tried to pull the car over when that did not work he says he tried to shoot out the back tires.
In November of 2009 Baca faced charges of manslaughter. He shot and killed Benito Lemos following a road rage incident. The two men were fighting in Las Vegas New Mexico. Baca was acquitted of the charge claiming it was self defense.
A background investigator revealed his record isn't exactly squeaky clean. "Three misdemeanor arrests, two known convictions, eight bench warrants and two of those are for failure to appear," the investigator said.
Albuquerque Police confiscated two handguns from Baca's car Saturday and four loaded magazines.
Mr. Baca is a good example. Proper gun control laws, which certainly don't exist in gun-friendly New Mexico, would easily have identified him as a danger and disarmed him long ago.
Wouldn't that be better for all concerned?
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